First-incidence of DSM-IV mood, anxiety and substance use disorders and its determinants: results from the Netherlands Mental Health Survey and Incidence Study-2

J Affect Disord. 2013 Jul;149(1-3):100-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2013.01.009. Epub 2013 Feb 9.


Background: Prospective studies measuring first-incidence of DSM-IV mood, anxiety and substance use disorders in the general population are rare. We assessed these incidence rates in the Dutch population; and identified baseline sociodemographic, physical and psychopathological variables, and negative changes in sociodemographics and physical health between baseline and follow-up, as determinants of first-onset main categories of disorders.

Method: Data are from NEMESIS-2, a representative face-to-face survey including 5303 subjects aged 18-64 interviewed twice (2007-2009; 2010-2012) with the CIDI 3.0.

Results: In three years, 8.86% of adults without prior psychopathology experienced any mental disorder, corresponding with 3.09 cases per 100 person-years. Incidence was highest for anxiety (1.69 per 100 person-years) and mood disorder (1.65), and lowest for substance use disorder (0.97). For the separate disorders, incidence was highest for major depression (1.58), specific phobia (0.79) and alcohol abuse (0.73). For mood and anxiety disorder, incidence rate was higher among women and for substance use disorder it was higher among men. Age was inversely related to all disorder categories. Changes in sociodemographics, like no longer living with a partner and decrease in income, were stronger determinants than the corresponding sociodemographics. Incident mood disorder was predicted by baseline anxiety and substance use disorder, incident anxiety disorder by mood and substance use disorder, and incident substance use disorder by adult ADHD.

Limitations: Validity of lifetime diagnoses can be questioned because of difficulty of accurate recall. Only determinants of categories of disorders were studied, due to low numbers of incident cases of most separate disorders.

Conclusion: First-onset of mental disorders in a 3-year period is not an uncommon phenomenon. Results about determinants of incident disorders are important for prevention and early intervention initiatives aimed at reducing burden of mental disorders.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Anxiety Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mood Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Netherlands / epidemiology
  • Prospective Studies
  • Substance-Related Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Young Adult